Anyone thinking of a career in the wine making industry, will soon be able to take a course at Okanagan College.
The Province has announced $628,000 to support a two-year pilot project for a viticulture technician diploma program at the college, developed in partnership with the BC Wine Grape Council.
The project will see 20 students begin their studies this fall, allowing them to eventually work as as part of a vineyard management team.
“The program is structured around the viticulture growing season, providing opportunities to develop and apply skills like: canopy management, pest control, pruning, training vines and sensory evaluation, as well as occupational health and safety,” says a BC government media release.
Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College, says the wine industry is one of the economic engines of the region.
“We’re very pleased that we have been able to work with the industry and with the support of the province to further develop the career-focused programming that will serve its needs and the best interests of our students,” says Hamilton.
Lynn Bremmer, chair, BC Wine Grape Council says having experts from their industry help shape the curriculum and the program itself will mean that students are well prepared for important roles in our vineyards and businesses when they complete the diploma.
The B.C. wine industry has a $2.8 billion economic impact to the province’s economy, with over 12,000 people employed in the industry.
B.C. wineries welcome over one million visitors a year, generating over $476 million in tourism-related economic impact.